Date: September 23, 2021
Time: 7:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Live Ball-by-ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
Preview: After being on the contrasting ends of the result spectrum in their respective season resuming match in the United Arab Emirates, Mumbai and Kolkata will be up against each other at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Thursday. While Mumbai fell to a defeat after they had got themselves into a good position to blow the opposition out for a below-par total but allowed Chennai to come back into the match, Kolkata almost seemed to have learnt from Mumbai's mistake and never allowed Bangalore to come back into the game after picking up a few wickets upfront and eventually managing to bowl them out under 100.
The two teams have met each other once in the season before and that time it was the Rohit Sharma-led side's superior ability to win in crunch moments that had allowed them to win from a difficult situation. Despite Nitish Rana's half-century, Kolkata had fallen 10 runs short of Mumbai's score of 152. While Kolkata would be looking to return the favour, Mumbai would be equally desperate for a win if not more since they want to retain their place in the top-half of the points tally.
Position in the Indian T20 League standings:
Mumbai: Current Position: 4th position (8 points in 8 matches)
Kolkata: Current Position: 6th (6 points in 8 matches)
Mumbai: Rohit Sharma is likely to come back into the Playing XI. While head coach Mahela Jayawardene said that the Hitman was already raring to go in their previous match and was rested as a precautionary measure, he is also the highest run-getter against Kolkata. It would be interesting to see if Hardik Pandya can come back since even his injury was nothing serious and the team did miss his presence with the bat and ball in the first match despite Saurabh Tiway's half-century.
Kolkata: For Eoin Morgan's team, much of the damage was done by the bowlers and so the batters are yet to be tested. But from what was seen, Venkatesh Iyer seems to be a great proposition at the top of the order. Shubman Gill also returned to form and scored at a brisk rate. However, it was Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell's form that was their biggest positive and Kolkata would hope that they can continue to fire for them.
Head to Head (in Indian T20 League)
Matches Played – 28
Mumbai – 22
Rohit Sharma: The Hitman has been in great form recently although in a different format. His team needs him to deliver after finding themselves in a spot of bother and he will be desperate to perform especially against an opposition he loves to bat against. The elegant right-handed opener has scored 982 runs against Kolkata at an average of 46.76 and a strike rate of over 133. His lone century in IPL also came against this very opponent. Watch out for the Hitman.
Andre Russell: Even though Andre Russell did show what he could pull off with the ball, much of his genius lies in his ability with the bat. With the license to go after the bowling from the word go being given by the management, Russell could be even more dangerous, not that he needs such license in the first place. The West Indian hasn't quite been at his best in recent matches in the tournament with the bat and what an occasion it would be to find form against a top opponent like the defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai: Quinton de Kock (wk), Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard (c), Saurabh Tiwary/Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Adam Milne, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult
Kolkata: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna